Maggie’s Salon Cuts Out Hair Care Waste

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Every minute, the beauty industry in North America sends 877 pounds of waste to the landfill. Over the course of a day, salons in the U.S. throw away 63,000 pounds of hair clippings, 110,000 pounds of used metal, and 42,000 pounds of excess hair dye. By partnering with Green Circle Salons, Maggie’s Salon in Vineyard Haven is taking action to reduce this staggering amount of waste. If you can’t get to Maggie’s Salon, you can find a Green Circle Salon near you here.

Green Circle Salons is streamlining recycling processes in the beauty industry. Through their recycling program, salons are able to reduce their total waste by 95% — this waste includes hair clippings, excess hair product, used foils, plastic containers, cotton swabs, nail files, waxing strips, and PPE. Since beginning their work in 2009, Green Circle Salons has kept nearly nine million pounds of beauty waste out of landfills. Green Circle Salons’ recycling program also prevents the harsh chemicals often used in salons from entering our waterways when excess product is rinsed down the drain.

What will become of the products Maggie’s Salon recycles through Green Circle Salons? Most will be recycled: Plastics will become new containers, cardboard and paper will be turned into cellulose to use as insulation, and metals will be melted into sheets and bars that can be used to produce bicycles. Hair dye will be separated into water and oil with the water being cleaned and returning to the water system and the oil being blended into clean fuel solutions. Single-use items like cotton swabs and PPE will be used in a waste-to-energy process to create renewable energy with the leftover ash to be used as a filler in construction materials. As a certified Green Circle Salon, Maggie’s Salon is working toward carbon-neutrality, meaning the amount of carbon their business emits into the atmosphere is offset by their waste-reduction efforts.

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Julia Cooper
Julia Cooper
Julia Cooper is a columnist for Bluedot Living with a passion for environmentally conscious food and beverages. While completing her master's degree in Writing & Publishing at Emerson College, Julia curates the natural wine and craft beer program for Black Sheep Market in Cambridge, Mass. Julia's cat Sofia is retired from her eight years as the bodega cat for a fine wine store on Boston's Newbury Street.

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